CDL Range Week 3: “Phew!”

CDL Range Week 3: “Phew!”

To listen to an audio transcription of this blog post click play below:

Special 3 minute Video!!!!


Well… Range: Week 3 is done!

It was a tricky week but I made the hurdle finally… Let me tell you what I mean:

So do you remember in my previous post how I described some of my tendencies to be focused? Well one of the ways that has hit me in the butt during this class is I ended up… how shall we say… kind of overachieving.… Fortunately my/our instructor, has a psychology background which is a tremendous value-add, and enables him to really key-in to individual personalities and speak to them on a level they understand.  I’m sure many folks don’t recognize what an asset those skills are for an instructor anywhere, let alone with the super wide range of backgrounds that come through a CDL School.  From folks where English is a second or third language, to Corporate or Agency trained folks with some, or much, higher education.

So, when I have an abundance of new information coming at me, it’s difficult to recall it all at once, so I find different ways to absorb it all.   During our Range learning and driving practice, I was intensely and subconsciously continually raising my bar of measurement of my own progress. My instructor pointed this out in a language I could understand, and I tell you it turned my progress around completely. Literally overnight. Meaning Wednesday I ranked myself awful, was flustered at nearly every mistake, and Thursday (after finally getting what he meant about me raising my own bar) I was just content with everything I did.  I even started out with a mistake as I pulled out of the parking lot and when he stated (paraphrased) that I was going to be overly critical on that, I confidently replied “Nope, already compartmentalized it and tossed it out the window…”

Raising the bar…

What he did for me was help me push, more and more, way past what I needed in order to pass the DMV test.  But I was so caught up in raising and chasing my bar, that I never realized that I nailed it so many days earlier.   So whichever day I “nailed it”, say Day 5 (just tossing a day out for to try to convey my point) he kept letting me grow by co-pushing me as I continued to try for ‘extra credit’ (his term which I get now).

We all know there is a difference between taking and passing a test, and how things truly are in practical application in the world beyond the class!  This instructor fostered that growth.  I am now so far beyond the skills just needed to take pass the road test, I’ve gained a huge amount of extras to bring to my new job.  Please don’t misconstrue the complete novice/rookie level I am still at.  I’m not even sure how to, or if I know enough to,  quantify what extra knowledge skills, etc. I gained, which other students may never receive from their classes.

One thing for sure after I “got it” Wednesday night, I was out on the road Thursday and Friday with a drastically more relaxed mindset.  It was absolutely transparent to my cab mates as well, although I’m not sure if they know, or understand my transformation, but they watched it unfold in front of them.  The realization had transitioned my entire “intense & focused” mindset.  I knew I had more available resources now to handle their extroverted personalities.  I had made personalized gifts the weekend before, and I brought them in that Thursday.  I started joining more conversations and making more jokes.  It was noticeable.  I’m pretty sure at least one of them had just written me off as a stuck up b*tch.  LOL.  Pretty sure they don’t think of me that awfully now.  And that says a lot about them as well.  Accepting me and my quirks.

Gifts for all:

Designed and cut decals out of Cricut’s new Chameleon Foil vinyl, and installed it on a pail.  Pail I thought would be practical as a hard sided item to toss stuff in. The Bandana was for the other cab mate.  The instructor passed on to us a little “jingle” for fun recall of how trucks (other than hazmat) must approach railroad crossings (it was a road skills test question).

So…. for his graduation gift I made a sign with a faux ukelele (his instrument of choice IMG_3033for this little diddy).  I ordered a component that would record voice (like they have in plush toys).  The original idea was to record the 3 of us singing the diddy, but one person was not interested, which ended up way better in the long run, coz I then asked him to record it… His whole face lit up when I asked him to do it, coz he still didn’t know what I was making, but he’s just that kind of personality type, to roll with fun weird stuff.

So this was the result and I made a clip (below) so you could hear how the diddy is sung.  Quite frankly I was glad I didn’t have to use the other two coz their “rhythm” was akin to Elaine (from Seinfeld) dancing.  :::EEK!:::  Google that you’ll see the disaster that was averted.

Looking ahead to our last week on the range

Next week is our last week AND test week.  I’m pretty sure each class thinks they were his ‘best class’ and/or his ‘most memorable class’ yadda yadda.  In reality though, we will move on, he will have a new crew in a couple weeks time, start bonding with them, and the process begins again for him over and over and over.  I doubt there are very many that truly understand why they gain what they gain from him as an instructor. Sure he’s cool, relateable, engaging, all while doing his job teaching and correcting, but his psychology background and training give him a definitive edge over other instructors.  Speaking for myself, it was certainly a plus to have an instructor where I could sporadically enjoy an intellectual conversation outside of truck talk.
Well,  come back for my final week of Truck School in my next installment publishing soon.

Love and Clix and CDL Downshifts,





    1. Aww — Thanks! I wanted to come down this past weekend, but with school, just couldn’t comfortably swing the time for the round trip, etc. Glad you are enjoying my CDL posts.. Hope to chat soon :0) and thanks for taking the time to drop a comment!

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